The Mizzou Student Suicide Prevention Coalition hosted their annual butterfly release on April 25 at Francis Quadrangle.
Students could buy a butterfly to release for 5 dollars a piece, and all proceeds benefited Great Circle, a non-profit behavioral health organization, and the MSSPC. The MSSPC handed out stickers and pins at the event, and free Andy's Frozen Custard was given out to the first 100 participants.
Instead of releasing the butterflies all at once, participants released them at their leisure. Katherine Fraley, vice president of events for the MSSPC, thought that this made for a more personal butterfly release.
“We try to release [them] all at once, but since the weather was kinda in limbo today we let people release them as they wanted,” Fraley said. “It kinda makes it more special for them because they typically come with friends or family with whom this cause means a lot [to]. So it’s kind of special to see different friend groups release butterflies at different times.”
Though the weather was overcast, MU Sophomore Emma Rowe felt that the rain added to the event.
“It feels like it’s kinda fitting for the mood,” Rowe said. “[It’s] kind of cool to release butterflies with this atmosphere.”
The butterfly release came at the end of MSSPC week, the organization’s yearly drive to raise money for Great Circle.
Each butterfly was folded in a triangle of paper that had the MSSPC’s slogan written on it: “I have time to listen, your life matters.” There was a lot of coaxing of stationery butterflies and surprise at ones that immediately popped out of their papers.
MSSPC volunteer Abigail Orf says that the organization’s mission is varied.
“I think it’s a little different for everyone involved because they all have some personal connection that drove them to be part of this,” Orf said. “Overall, we just want to have a conversation on mental health and suicide. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a taboo topic, which isn’t gonna help eradicate it. We always say we want to eradicate suicide. Obviously, you can say that, but you’ve gotta take smaller steps to get there.”
Edited by Janae McKenzie | firstname.lastname@example.org